With no tournament to occupy time this COVID-19 summer, Wimbledon bosses have been keeping staff occupied with charity initiatives.
The latest wrinkle: donations of 30,000 Slazenger balls and 25,000 pricey and coveted Wimbledon towels which were to have been used at The Championships due to have wrapped up this weekend.
As usual, Britain’s LTA will grab the major share of the freebies, which are earmarked to support the Play Your Way campaign to encourage people back onto recreational courts.
Other sets of fresh balls will go to charities supported by the Wimbledon Foundation official philanthropic arm.
London’s homeless are likely to find themselves the recipients of a quantity of the deluxe towels pilfered in their hundreds each year by players as they leave the court.
Nearly 2,500 of the plush towels will go to Crisis, a group which distributes household items to the less fortunate, with a current emphasis on economic victims of the virus pandemic.
“We are committed to using the collective strength of Wimbledon to provide help for those in need, and so we are pleased to be able to put the towels and balls which had been produced for this year’s Championships to good use,” Club boss Richard Lewis said.
“It was strongly felt that the bulk of The Championships balls should be directed to the LTA to help them encourage more people into the sport.
“The Championships towels would be best donated to charities who are working to support society’s most vulnerable, those affected by homelessness and seeking basic household supplies.”
Wimbledon also runs a GBP 1.2 million Coronavirus Fund which continues to help the most vulnerable Brits.